An under-fire Chesterfield FC director says a social media message he sent to the club’s former mascot was a ‘friendly warning.’
Ashley Carson responded to comments made on Facebook by Paul Bullock, who previously held the role of Chesterfield the Field Mouse at the Proact, with a private message.
Mr Bullock, however, says he took the company director’s words as a threat.
The incident has provoked a backlash from Town fans, who chanted ‘Ashley Carson get out of our club’ at Carlisle on Saturday.
And the director was confronted by supporters at the train station bar after the 2-0 defeat.
Mr Carson responded to comments made by Mr Bullock in a Spireites supporters group on Facebook with a message that read: “Be very careful Paul, step one foot out of the truth and I will go for you.
“You are talking about things you know absolutely nothing about.
“Friendly warning but I will not put up with you potentially bad mouthing me or casting wrongful comments. I have screenshots of your messages.”
In a statement given to the Derbyshire Times, Mr Carson said legal action was not something he wanted to pursue but he would not tolerate comments of an unfounded nature.
“After reading some inaccurate comments made about me on social media, I sent a private message to the person who had posted them,” he said.
“This was a friendly warning, advising him that I will not allow any potentially libellous remarks to harm my personal reputation.
“Resorting to legal action is something I would wish to avoid, but people have to realise that they cannot publish unfounded allegations online.”
But Mr Bullock says it did not come across as a friendly warning.
The Ripley-based self-employed coach said: “I took it as a serious threat.
“How can I take a warning like ‘step one foot out of the truth and I will go for you’ as a friendly warning?”
Four years ago Mr Bullock became involved with the Chesterfield FC Community Trust, working as a community coach.
He was also the man in the giant mouse suit paraded at games at the Proact.
Originally from Darlington, Mr Bullock says he’s now a passionate Chesterfield fan but he won’t buy a season ticket until there is new ownership at the club.
“I have been to only a few games this season due to mainly the club’s goings on and my own son’s commitments in football,” he said.
“I am a passionate Chesterdield fan and sure I always will be.
“This club’s fan base is a fine example of what all clubs in the Football League should to its unbelievable and a huge credit to the town.
“With a regime change I will without a doubt buy a season ticket but not till then.”
In June last year Mr Carson said his computer had been accessed by someone else, after an abusive message was sent to a Spireites fan from his Twitter account.
A supporter had posted a tweet revealing he had received a ‘nice direct message’ from Mr Carson accompanied by a screen-grab of the abusive comment.
But Mr Carson said: “It would appear my Twitter and emails have been accessed on my computer.
“I have been advised to suspend this account. Apologies.”
Mr Carson then deleted his Twitter account.